2015: The Year of Personalization

Even though there are still three months left in 2014 — typically a marketer’s busiest time of year — a lot of us are already looking ahead to what’s next. In 2014, new trends emerged based on the proliferation of information sourced from big data with an emphasis on multiscreen marketing, content marketing and advancements in mobile advertising. So, in 2015, marketers will continue to experience new technology and techniques that will strengthen messages across all channels. The theme of personalization will become prevalent.

To start, if you haven’t heard of marketing automation, you will. It’s one of those tools that a marketer should have in their arsenal at all times. Marketing automation platforms, such as Marketo, allow for streamlined efforts across various channels to reach targets with highly personalized content to build the quality of a CRM system. That could mean automatically sending an email with targeted content to segments of an audience when they are most likely to read/open it. Or perhaps showing specific content on a website or in an online ad to different audiences based on their behaviors and preferences.

By automatically managing lead/demand generation and nurture programs, marketing automation helps to convert prospects to customers and to keep those customers engaged for future purchases. While it may be complicated and scary, it is one of the best investments a marketer can make in 2015.

With the continued evolution of mobile advertising, even more data is becoming available about buyers’ behaviors and preferences. In 2015, microtargeting — super-segmented targeting using tons of data to identify the behaviors of specific individuals — will help personalize our messages and really fine tune how we bring information to the customer and guide them through the sales process. Microtargeting requires a lot of work on the back end — acquiring data, analyzing, interpreting and planning — to ensure the content and its delivery are precisely right. When done correctly, microtargeting will ultimately bring strong results.

Finally, Millennials will continue to be in the spotlight. They are the biggest population in the current workforce, and there is no shortage of articles and commentary about how this generation behaves and what they want. But most of that information is conflicting, or the “insights” are based on a lack of real research.

The truth is, Millennials can’t really be broadly categorized — at least not yet. They are still learning their way — still (relatively) new to the workforce and adulthood. In 2015, more data will become available to analyze and interpret, more of them will have moved out of mom and dad’s and further developed their own behaviors and preferences, and marketers will be able to use that information to best reach this coveted audience.

2014 was a great year for marketing innovation. Next year, I look forward to bigger and better digital advancements and new ways to use all the information we are capturing. Oh, and I’d like to see a lot less selfies.

By Kelly Russell, Account Supervisor